Selfies Have Now Become An Art Form - Barbara Becker Holstein's New Short Film 'The Truth' Sets The Example
Dr. Holstein's award-winning books, plays and short films offer solutions to problems that impact today's teens and tweens and helps them develop positive self esteem
[Wilmington, NC, September 19, 2016] An article on The Atlantic website entitled 'Selfies Are Art' made a point that is very easy for some of us to overlook - selfies are a form of self expression and can be used to communicate many things, going far beyond merely promoting oneself. Positive Psychologist Barbara Becker Holstein has taken that concept to its logical conclusion.
'The Truth - A Short Film' uses the selfie concept to paint a portrait of a young girl. The new short film shows us how she attempts to deal with life changing problems, concerns, challenges and issues all young girls face. The result is an eye-opening, in-depth exploration of her life, giving viewer the distinct impression that they have been somehow magically embedded into that life. If the selfie concept were be transformed into an art form, 'The Truth' would be the result.
We have a tendency to lump selfies into a genre, rather than seeing the person behind the attempt at communication. As stated in The Atlantic article, "In the process, individual voices get flattened out. Each unique teen girl posting a selfie, regardless of why she does it, becomes the generic 'teen girl.'
"This is not to say that selfies have no common characteristics. Talking about the sociological implications of those characteristics can be fine as long as it's done carefully. For that matter, both Small and Kelly are engaged in a dialog with and about the selfie as genre, just as all artists engage in a dialog with their art form. But recognizing that selfies are a genre is different than saying that selfies have one overarching truth, be it empowerment or degradation. Instead of rushing to put every individual into one box, it would be nice if we could take the time to look at individual selfies as individual selfies—portraits that represent different people, rather than a single, monotonous, multi-headed self."
Dr. Holstein agrees. "This quote from The Atlantic is as relevant today as when it was published three years ago," she stated. "Even more so, as selfies are finally distinguishing themselves as not only individual portraits of different people, but also having the capacities to bring new life to various art forms. In particular, I am interested in the development of selfies as a new form of dramatic presentation in film making.
"Both of my films, 'The Truth' and now in production, 'Secrets' make use of this new dramatic art form. In each film the actresses, Cassidy Terracciano in 'The Truth' and Megan Brown in 'Secrets', have taken the scripts home and used their phones to record selfies of each scene based on my two books, 'The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween' and 'Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen'.
Megan Brown, 14, an aspiring actor and artist who loves exploring the different ways that different human minds interpret art and emotion, now in the middle of recording her scenes in 'Secrets', made several comments on this new art form:
"Because I film by myself and re-watch the videos I take, I make notes on what I should fix or change. The girl has made it easier for me to find out more about myself also."
"It feels more realistic and human. I would love to make one (a short film), once I have a solid plot."
"I don't have a singular favorite scene, but I do enjoy the scenes where the girl admits her insecurities and fears about growing up, because I have those from time to time also."
"As a psychologist and educator I realize how important her remarks are," Dr. Holstein stated. "They indicated that she is having a chance to not only bond more intimately with her character but to learn more about her. She is taking responsibility to make each scene come alive, rather than waiting on the enthusiasm or watchful eye of the director, or even criticism from outside to push her along. She has internalized the scope of the integration that must happen to make a character live and she is making it happen."
"That her favorites reflect the normal insecurities and fears of growing up pleases me again as a professional, as I believe my films are helping the viewer learn more about themselves, whatever their age. And that is in a large part because the two actresses have had a chance to deeper what they give to the screen. It is a win-win for a new form of art,#Selfiesasfilm and for another way to encourage self development, courage and determination in our youngsters."
The short two minute film by Dr. Holstein, 'The Truth, A Short Short Film', premiered at FilmOneFest in July. The film was chosen as an Official Selection in the Chain Film Festival held in Manhattan on August 13, 2016. 'The Truth, a Short Film', a longer 16 minute portrayal of a girl growing up, has been officially selected for the Golden Door International Film Festival to be held in September 2016. The Rahway International Film Festival recently chose the 2 minute version as an Official Selection.
Dr. Holstein's entire body of work is great for parents, grandparents, older siblings and teachers to establish lines of communication with the tweens and teens in their lives. Her books have received numerous awards. A recent review of Dr. Holstein's book, 'Secrets', stated, "This book should ideally be stocked in the home libraries of families with children and in school libraries worldwide."
'The Truth' focuses on how teens communicate their deepest needs. A trailer from her new short film, 'The Truth', an Official Choice of the Garden State Film Festival, is available at www.thetruthforgirls.com. The trailer captures the world of technology and its public nature with the intense needs of a young girl to share her most private and most intimate thoughts, feelings, ideas and secrets.
"In today's world of likes, lols and longing to be seen, noticed, validated, talked about, often by 'friends' only known virtually, where are her deepest thoughts and longings going? Both the trailer, even in 47 seconds and the film 'The Truth, A Short Film' of 16 minutes are great to use to get kids and parents talking about today's social media world that we all live in."
A sequel to 'The Truth', 'Secrets', starring Megan Brown, is currently in production. In the sequel, based on 'Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen', a girl continues to keep both a virtual diary on her cell phone and a paper diary. She is a year older and although she has matured, her longings and her hunger to find a home for her feelings and intense emotions are even stronger.
Dr. Holstein is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at email@example.com. All of her books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and all other online retailers. More information is available at her website at http://www.TheTruthForGirls.com.
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, internationally known Positive Psychologist is the creator of The Enchanted Self ®, a positive psychology method for happiness. Dr. Holstein's Enchanted Self website, www.enchantedself.com, was just included as one of the best websites in positive psychology. She is in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein.
Dr. Barbara can be found on the web, interviewed, writing articles and posting video 'TED' style talks on Happiness, Positive Psychology, Relationships and Parenting.
She has been a contributor to Heart and Soul, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Redbook, Real Simple, The Wall Street Journal, Time on line, the Today Show and Family Circle Magazine.
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
170 Morris Ave.,
Long Branch, New Jersey 07740